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LGBT Ministry and Advocacy in tlie UCC
UNrrCDCHURCH of CHRIST
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GodVs Extravagant Welcome
Churchwide Consultation on the Future of LGBT Ministry and
Advocacy in the UCC
The UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns and tine UCC's Office for Health and Wholeness
Advocacy have launched The Churchwide Consultation on the Future of LGBT
Ministry and Advocacy. The Consultation is meant to be a listening project that
takes place in as many setting of the UCC as possible. We are interested in hearing
from any and all churches regardless of ONA status and encourage as many as
possible to participate. Racial/ethnic meetings, youth and young adult gatherings,
clergy clusters and annual Conference/ Association meetings are also excellent
venues for this conversation.
Why: We know that no one voice can speak for all parts of our mutual ministry. In
order to develop strategy, program and to foster deeper understanding in the
various settings of our denomination, we must listen to one another. Our project is
an attempt to hear the wisdom of many different voices to collectively form a vision
for the future of LGBT Ministry and Advocacy.
Who: People within and among our various settings of the United Church of Christ.
What: The Consultation is a focus group or conversation hosted in churches,
seminaries, clergy groups. Associations and Conferences. Diversity of settings are a
goal. The constant is that all groups will be asked the same questions.
How to get involved: Once you've decided to participate. Select a venue, choose a
facilitator, the facilitator registers to participate in a webinar training, host the
conversation, record your responses, send in the data.
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Breaking News from SECUCC 8/6/13 7:59 PM
To get involved contact the Consultation Coordinator: Rev. Tara Wilkins,
consultation@ucccoalition. email@example.com , 503-484-3609.
Pathways- A Sojourners' Community E S EZl
PATHWAYS: A Sojourners' Community
by Sarah Kim
Tine second coiiort of PATHWAYS participants gatliered togetiier on tine last weekend of October for tine first
course in tine Level 1 program — Self and Community in Context. The retreat was facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Sarah
Kim and Ms. Andrea Mai, with 11 participants from Nashville, Knoxville, and Atlanta. Over the period of two days,
the group explored the notions of "self" and "community" and their contexts, which are defined by each
individual's narrative of his or her life journey.
In the end, the group created a brand-new community of fellow learners, a gathering of sojourners with like
minds, concerns, and aspirations. The remarkable aspect of our time together had to do with everyone's
openness to share with honesty and enthusiasm and to listen with open hearts and compassion. We learned not
only the theories about self and community, but practiced "being ourselves" and "becoming a community." Below
are the comments made by some of the participants as they reflected on their group experience:
7 want to expand my knowledge to the limit and take it and use it to the good of people like myself that has
needed it, needed the help, and needed the guidance. "
"The strongest impression that has stayed with me is the sense of being in the right place at the right time
with the right group of people. My mantra during our prayer times was 'God in me, me in the world. ' I will
carry this mantra with me throughout the PATHWAYS journey."
"We were able to open up to each other and form a viable and vibrant community. It's amazing to me that
we have come to this place and time in each of our lives at exactly this moment .... has to be a 'God thing. '"
"When I consider how I want to be in the world, I want to be more sensitive, compassionate, and responsive
toward all people. The depth of the sharing between strangers reminded me of our commonality. It is far
easier to dwell on our differences. It helped me remember that an open heart is very inviting!"
"I don't understand how people can grow in their understanding of religion when there is no community to
support and challenge them. This group, I believe, will do that. "
"I met ten people who are searching for a closer relationship with God; people who are filled with
excitement for the journey, and unafraid. I met ten people who are willing to stretch their minds, to question,
to doubt — to clarify. ""I love the people, and the heartwarming stories that were shared along with the
laughter and tears are footprints planted in my soul. The presence of God and my classmates helped me
reaffirm my calling."
The group was much greater than the sum of its parts, I believe, because the Divine Presence was moving and
working in our midst. I pray that we continue to carry this momentum of love for the community and the zeal for
learning throughout our PATHWAYS experience.
LGBT Ministry and Advocacy in the UCC
Pathways- A Soiourners' Community
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